As the percentage of Spanish-speaking citizens continues to increase in the United States, Spanish education is becoming more and more vital in today’s society. At LCA, we use a comprehensible input immersion technique combined with TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) Strategies – in normal terms, the focus is on comprehension and conversation. Each unit of language study is driven by a cultural theme, and Spanish learners are kept abreast of current events in the Spanish-speaking world. Bible-based conversations are seamlessly woven into discussions, and students participate in corporate prayer for global concerns.
Students begin to hear and use Spanish from day one and this causes them to quickly develop practical conversational skills. In fact, every level is taught in 95% Spanish – even Spanish 1. This causes students to rely on developing their conversational Spanish skills right away. Classes have higher student engagement and a more well-rounded understanding of the language by using this method. In fact, we have seen vast improvement across all four areas of foreign language assessment: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Our Spanish class is also intentionally designed with no desks - there is simply a circle of chairs. The students and teacher sit in a circle of chairs rather than rows of desks. In this way, instead of looking down at a piece of paper to study vocab, the students are engaging in communication with one another to develop their vocabulary. After a survey of upper-level Spanish students, we have found that they feel more prepared and confident than in previous years. Many parents even remark that their children are quick to use Spanish outside the classroom to interact with community members.